Sound Off: Scoring in MMA and Thai-boxing


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Author: The Fighters Life
Title: Scoring in MMA and Thai-boxing
What’s on their mind:

Ok, so I’ve been thinking a lot about how we have armature boxing judges, with little to no Thai-boxing experience, judging Thai-boxing bouts and MMA fights, and how detrimental this is to our sports. The problem we have here is that this creates an extremely unbalanced scoring and judging system, favoring fast non-effective punches that fail to connect half of the time, over effective striking and ring, clinch and ground control.  Thus limiting a fighters choices to submit or knockout your opponent, in which lies another fundamental problem, you can only get knocked-out so many times before you’ve ended your career in its infancy. I’ve heard people say that the judges like a lot of “work”, but people work just as hard, if not harder, to maintain hard and precise strikes, blocks and counters, footwork and clinch control. Fighting isn’t the tough-guy douche-bag crap that they sell you on TV, it’s an art and it’s a sport in which, yes amiably when you get down to it, it’s two guys trying to knock one another’s heads off, But when you lose the art and the sport, it’s nothing more than a glorified street fight. In Thai-boxing, the scoring is really summed up in one phrase”who is winning the fight?”. They base this on, effective striking, control in the clinch, and what condition the fighters are in at the end of the fight. Please see link-

Now, my second problem is no scoring on the clinch. Half of Thai-boxing is the Thai-plum/clinch, in which a fighter can display effective control over his opponent, thus changing the dynamics of the fight completely. Sweeps, dumps and throws score big, as do knees from the clinch. My question is why, when one fighter is clearly winning the fight from the clinch, controlling and dominating his opponent, isn’t any thought or scoring given to the better grappler? Is it the pure sentiment, that punches and punches only are encouraged and rewarded? Why hasn’t someone in our great state of Texas partnered with a legitimate Thai-boxing sanctioning body such as the TBA, USMTA and the USMF  which provide judges, to help produce a superior product? Over all I believe that the current judging for most of Texas quote “Muaythai” is killing the sport by robbing fighters of their wins after much hard work and the fans that feel that there fighters were cheated. This discourages fighters and fans alike from attend another event again.

The standard scoring practice is as follows:

A: A strike either by a punch, kick, knee or elbow.

1. Scoring from a strike:

1.1. Points will be awarded for a correct muaythai style, combined with hard and accurate strikes.

1.2. Points will be awarded for aggressive and dominating Muay Thai skill.

1.3. Points will be awarded for a fighter actively dominating his opponent.

1.4. Points will be awarded for the use of a traditional muaythai style of defense and counter-attack.

1.5. Points will be deducted from a boxer who fouls or breaks the rules.

2. Non scoring strikes:

2.1. A strike which is against the rules.

2.2. A strike in defense against the leg or rim of an opponent.

2.3. A weak strike.

B. Fouls.

1. The judges will deduct points for any foul as directed by the referee.

2. Any foul observed by the judges but not by the referee, will be penalized accordingly.

C. Method Of Scoring

1. The maximum score for each round is 10 points, the loser scoring either 9, 8 or 7.

2. A drawn round will be scored as 10 points for both boxers.

3. The winner and loser in an indecisive round, will score 10:9 respectively.

4. The winner and loser in a decisive round will score 10:8 respectively.

5. The winner and loser in an indecisive round with a single count, will score 10:8 respectively.

6. The winner and loser in a decisive round with a single count, will score 10:7 respectively.

7. The boxer scoring 2 counts against his opponent will score 10:7.

8. Any boxer who commits a foul will have points deducted from his score.

Borrowed from: